Steven A. Elkes ’83Steven A. Elkes ’83 will be the featured speaker in the Leading Innovation and Entrepreneurship speaker series on Wednesday, September 13. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 2:00 p.m. Harris Cinema. The Donald and Winifred Wilson Center for Innovation and Leadership is sponsoring the speaker series and associated course.

The Grinnell College Academic Catalog describes a liberal arts education as one centered on critical thinking, examination of life, encounters with difference and free exchange of ideas.

Steve Elkes ’83 is a sterling example of one who exemplifies and lives these qualities. He is an entrepreneur, deal-maker, financial executive and turnaround specialist for preparing internet companies for sale. He is currently the President of a Surface Travel, a startup in the travel space.

Steve was formerly Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Healthguru.com, an online video site focused on Health, which he merged into Kitara Media. Prior to this Steve was the Chief Executive Officer and President at Makeover Solutions, Inc. He previously served as Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) at TheStreet.com. from 2007 to 2009. In 1996 he joined iVillage Inc. and was Executive Vice President of Operations and Business Affairs and later Chief Financial Officer.

While managing all phases of iVillage’s capital raising efforts including private placements, IPO, and secondary offerings used for acquisition purposes, Mr. Elkes oversaw the strategic implementation and integration of those acquisitions into iVillage. In addition, he managed the public sales process of iVillage to NBC Universal. He is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of solid experience, he has a stellar record of improving results in varied businesses.

He served as Chief Financial Officer of Azoogle (azoogleads.com), where he oversaw the financial, legal and human resources functions in addition to their M&A activities. From August 1993 to August 1996, he was Vice President Credit and Structured Finance at CNA Insurance Company. From August 1991 to August 1993, he was Assistant Vice President of CNA Insurance Company. Mr. Elkes received his M.B.A. from Baruch College and his B.A. from Grinnell College.

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